7 Top Google Rank-Killer Glitches

Written by Julia. Posted in Articles

Well, you've got a great website with quality content and you think you're doing everything right to please Google and climb at the top of search results.

However, you may notice that despite all your efforts your website doesn't rank as high as you would want it. The situation is most likely under your control. You just need to know what can go wrong to correct it.

So, here is a list of common Google glitches that may keep even best web sites from getting to the top positions in search results:

1. Bad "Neighborhood"

Google doesn't treat all the sites in the same way. It uses its own trust thresholds to classify the sites. It's not a secret that trusty web sites can boast more indulgence from the search engine.

To rank your web site, Google carefully analyzes your "neighborhood" – your incoming and outgoing links. You should watch over the sites you want to get links from (blogs, directories, etc.).

And moreover you should be very careful when linking to someone else's site. Google understands that you have a full control over your outgoing links and will penalize you or lower your website ranking for your "bad neighborhood".

You know not every link is good. The most obvious example of a bad link is a broken link. If your HTTP 404 error log file reveals that a link leads to a page on your web site that doesn't exist anymore, you can drop a quick email to the site's webmaster asking them to repair that broken link. If the webmaster didn’t correct the link, you can use a permanent 301 redirect method to redirect the link to the right page.

There are 2 ways to find HTTP 404 error log files for your website:

1st way:

– follow this link http://www.yourdomain.com:2082/

– login to your cPanel

– look at HTTP Error codes section in Awstats and click on "404 Document Not Found" link

2nd way (if you use a WordPress blog):

– download and install this Redirection plugin. Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have.

Another example of a bad link is a link with inaccurate anchor text. A classic "Click here" or "Read more" is obviously not the right anchor text you would want to have for your links.

There is nothing wrong with asking the linking site's webmaster to change the anchor text in your link with the right anchor text containing your keywords.

Bad links are also coming from link farms. If you came across your web site listed in a link farm, get it removed from there by contacting the link farm site webmaster. The majority of link farm webmasters will remove your site upon your request.

With that said, you should be concerned both about the sites you obtain links from and the sites you link to and put your efforts to obtain as more quality links as possible.

2. Unnatural Looking Incoming Links

It's still about links because they seem to be the primary factor Google takes into consideration when ranking a web site.

Despite the fact that Google does not favor the practice of buying links, many web site owners are engaged into such practice. If they are caught, they are typically penalized.

However, there are two "secrets" here:

  • Firstly, more natural incoming links a web site has, less likely the site will be penalized for buying links or getting links from low quality web sites.
  • And secondly, one just should be careful enough in order not to be caught by Google. Many web sites manage to buy and sell links under the Google's nose. They just do it carefully, deliberately, bypassing any link brokers and other known link selling resources.

3. Keywords Abuse

Using excessive keywords on a web page is a practice that doesn't work with Google anymore. At best, Google will ignore them. At worse, you will be penalized or your website ranking will be dropped in the search engine index. In either case it's not worth your effort.

The common places where your keywords must be located are your title and description tags and your headers. You can also naturally intersperse your page content with keywords where appropriate.

And the best place to put the keywords in is the anchor text of your links. That's where you will get the greatest return!

4. Duplicate Content, Titles and Descriptions

Google tends to maintain unique content in its index. So, if your website has content identical to the content found somewhere else, your web pages may not be listed in search engine results. The same thing applies to meta Titles and Descriptions.

If several pages of your website have the same title or description, Google will choose itself which pages are worth to be listed in the search results and which ones are not. This may be a problem if you want all of your pages to be displayed.

Therefore, you should take time to make each page of your website look unique and valuable to Google.

But there is a trick here. You have a great chance to be listed in search results and leave your competitor behind if:

  • your web page obtains more incoming links than the competitor's page with the similar content, or
  • your web page has less links but those links are from the websites with a great weight and authority.

5. Low Visitor Count

Google is able to track your website visitor count (through the Google toolbar and through the tracking links in SERP) and compare this metric to the ones of your competitors' websites. If during a certain period of time the relative visitor count for your website is lower than your competitor's one, Google can rightfully consider your website as low quality, less important and less relevant to the search terms. Thus, you should put your efforts to ensure a consistent and steady traffic to your website by posting comments on other people's blogs and submitting your site to web directories.

6. Slow Hosting Server

The server response time is another factor that affects the website ranking in search results. If your website response time is consistently slow, it's reasonable to suppose Google won't value your website highly.

Don't get me wrong but if your budget cannot afford a high quality hosting service with a fast server, the game is not worth the candle. So, if you are unhappy or not sure about your hosting company, consider looking for another high quality web hosting service that would provide you with a fast response server with a dedicated IP address.

7. Website is Often not Accessible

Ensure that your website is up and running. If a Google bot comes to your website and consistently gets the "Page Not Found" error, how do you want Google to rank your site? This may be the primary reason why your website cannot climb at the top of the search results. You may have a brilliant website with quality and unique content but if it is frequently down, you lose any chance to be at the top.

Once again, be concerned about your website availability and look for a web hosting company with a good fast hosting server. Don't wait until your competitors eat your lunch. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time and efforts.

As always, you're welcome to share your thoughts in comments below.

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